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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3412..

Mr Smyth (continuing):

Tree management and protection-Tree Management Protection Policy for the ACT, dated September 2001.

Tree management and protection-Proposal for a Significant Tree Register, dated September 2001.

Tree management and protection-Government response to the Public Comments on the Tree Management and Protection Policy for the ACT.

Tree management and protection policy

Statement by Minister

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts and Minister for Police and Emergency Services): I seek leave to make a short statement on the tree management and protection papers.

Leave granted.

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, it gives me great pleasure today to table a tree management and protection package which includes a tree management and protection policy for the ACT, a proposal for the establishment of a significant tree register, and the government's response to public comments received on the draft tree policy and significant tree register.

Members will recall that on 2 May 2000 the Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Services released its report on tree management and protection in the ACT. The government tabled its response to the committee's recommendation in the Assembly on 29 August 2000, supporting the general thrust of its 27 recommendations. In particular, there was agreement to the preparation of a comprehensive tree management and protection policy for the management and protection of trees in the ACT, including a significant tree register.

The tabling of this package today comprehensively responds to the recommendations made by the committee's report. The tree management and protection policy for the ACT has undergone extensive consultation with the community, and comments received were both supportive and constructive. The tree policy contains policy statements and implementation strategies covering all aspects of tree management and protection in the ACT. Current policies are stated, policy gaps identified, and both current and future implementation strategies are outlined. Implementation of the tree policy will be reported on annually in the Department Of Urban Services' annual report, with a full review every five years.

Mr Speaker, this policy will result in improved coordination between ACT government agencies on the management of trees through the establishment of a tree management network, which will be chaired by Environment ACT. It will include major ACT government stakeholder agencies, and expert community representatives will be invited to join.

The development of the tree policy has led to improvements to tree protection provisions in the revised ACT Code for Residential Development which will soon be released as a draft variation to the Territory Plan. As a result of the development of the trees policy,

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